Wimbledon doubles match under investigation for match fixing

TENNIS-GBR-WIMBLEDON

Match-fixing officials are investigating reports of wrongdoing in relation to a Wimbledon men's doubles match.

Unnamed for legal reasons, the clash is believed to have involved players ranked as high as the top 100 of the ATP men's singles rankings.

Authorities were alerted to the potential corruption following an abrupt shift in betting patterns, picked up by bookmaker Pinnacle Sports.

American broadcaster ABC spoke to the company's integrity manager Sam Gomersall on the allegations.

Gomersall stated they'd seen evidence of “a series of bets from accounts with a history of wagering on suspicious matches” and so quickly alerted Wimbledon officials.

He went on to characterise the last-minute change in odds for the first-round match as “out of the ordinary”, following “irregular betting patterns.”

“We would anticipate some minor odds movement in any tennis match."

Before adding: “We followed our strict protocol when it comes [to] match-fixing alerts by notifying the authorities on site at Wimbledon and reducing our market offering immediately."

According to reports, the Association of Tennis Professional (ATP) has referred the matter onto the Tennis Integrity Unit.

Day Three: The Championships - Wimbledon 2018

They said in a statement: “The TIU has become more transparent, hence our publication of [quarterly] match alert data, but that is also balanced against the need for operational confidentiality, as in this matter."

This development comes after the news in May that Argentine Nicolas Kicker had been found guilty of match-fixing offences, as announced by the TIU, making him the highest ranked player at the time to be convicted.

Kicker went on to be removed from the French Open draw and a month later was handed a $25,000 fine and a six-year ban, three of which are suspended on a probationary basis.

Wimbledon have refused to comment on the investigation, insisting it's a matter for the TIU. They did, however, confirm that as event organiser it would be made aware of any suspicious matches.

Day One: The Championships - Wimbledon 2018

The Association of Tennis Professionals also elected not to comment.

Sports integrity investigator Mark Phillips discussed the corruption as a revelation on match fixing in tennis not being confined to lower levels.

"It shouldn't have been any surprise that this happened.

"From my experience it's not just at the lower levels [in which fixing happens], but it also goes right to the top."

Meanwhile, this year's championships continue, with the semi-finals set to take place over the coming days.

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